Taraji P. Henson & Janelle Monae Slam Roe V. Wade Reversal At BET Awards
Several prominent celebrities used their time during the Sunday night BET Awards to pan the recent Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. This included the show’s host, Taraji P. Henson, presenter Janelle Monae, and also the BET award winner Jazmine Sullivan.
The actor thanked Lizzo, who opened the show with a performance of her single “About Damn Time,” for donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood, and said, “It’s about damn time we stepped into our power.”
Henson’s fury over the Supreme Court decision was at the front of her opening speech for the night. “It’s about time we talk about the act that guns have more rights than women,” she said. “It’s a sad day in America … A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life if she chooses to.”
Monae took the stage later on in the show and had some blistering remarks for the Supreme Court itself. “These artists are making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body and our decisions, my body,” Monae said.
The artist, who was presenting for the best female R&B/pop artist category, also said, “F––k you Supreme Court. I know we’re celebrating us right now as we should. We absolutely deserve to celebrate – especially now we should celebrate our arts by protecting our right and our truths.”
Monae then announced Sullivan as the winner of the category, who began her speech with, “As always, I do this for the women, for my sisters especially.” Sullivan also made a statement directly for all men listening.
“We need y’all,” she said plainly. “We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing with us. This is not just a women’s issue, this is everybody’s issue, and we need your support more than ever.”